Dennis Quaid says Natasha Richardson’s death ‘devastated’ him: ‘She was such a beautiful person’

Natasha Richardson was a bright light on the set of The Parent Trap back in 1998 — just ask Dennis Quaid.

“Now you hit my heart. She was such a beautiful person, such a beautiful, beautiful person. Just none of that, that actor stuff, prima donna stuff,” the actor, 64, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “Someone easy to work with and such a great sense of humor.”

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Richardson and Quaid played Elizabeth James and Nick Parker, respectively, in the the beloved remake. Eleven years after the film’s release, Richardson hit her head during a ski lesson in Montreal, Canada. After complaining of a headache, she was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead at age 45. She was survived by actor husband Liam Neeson and their sons Daniel and Micheál.

“When that accident happened, it just devastated me and so many other people,” Quaid says. “She had such a beautiful love, married life with Liam, and two beautiful boys. She always had a smile on her face when she came to work. That really affected everyone around her.”

Quaid and Richardson starred in the film opposite Lindsay Lohan. Like the 1961 original, Elizabeth and Nick’s daughter’s Annie and Hallie (both played by Lohan) discover they are twins at summer camp and switch places to try to get their parents back together. The Nancy Meyers-directed comedy recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

“Things start to go by so quick. That movie just keeps going on and on and on,” Quaid tells Us, noting that it doesn’t feel that long ago. “You know, the first one was made with Hayley Mills. I think I was about 10 years old when I saw it. Brian Keith played the dad in that. Hayley Mills, oh my gosh, I had such a crush on her. But, The Parent Trap was made during the time of VHS. When it came out on VHS I think every parent in America used it as a babysitter while they were at home. So many kids saw that like 40 or 50 times.”

He jokingly adds: “I usually say, ‘Yeah, I used to be a babysitter while your parents were doing what they wanted to do.’”

See more photos of Natasha Richardson:

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Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Dennis Quaid & Natasha Richardson (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - DECEMBER 1: Actress Sharon Stone and actress Natasha Richardson attend Eighth Annual World AIDS Day - amfAR's Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on December 1, 1995 at United Nations in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 07: Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson arriving for the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. (Photo by Jon Naso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Husband and wife actors Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson are on hand at Sotheby's for 'Movie Action for Children,' an auction of movie memorabilia initiated by Neeson to benefit millions of African children fighting the AIDS virus. The $406,850 raised goes directly to UNICEF's effort to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
8/2/99 New York, NY. Natasha Richardson with her husband, Liam Neeson at the launch party of Talk Magazine. Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Online USA, Inc.
Natasha Richardson, Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman at a photo call for the film 'Chelsea Walls' at the 54th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. 05/11/2001. Photo by Evan Agostini / ImageDirect.
Natasha Richardson, Ethan Hawke & Uma Thurman (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
(FILES): This September 1, 2002 file photo shows Irish actor Liam Neeson and his wife actress Natasha Richardson arriving at the projection of ' K-19: the widowmaker' shown out of competition, at the 59th Venice Film festival. Actress Natasha Richardson has died following a ski accident, a spokesman for her actor husband Liam Neeson said in a statement on March 18, 2009. AFP PHOTO / Files / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson arriving at the 'Gangs Of New York' world premiere after-party at the New York Public Library, New York City. December 9, 2002. Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images.
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 15: Actors Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson arrive at the 11th Annual 'BAFTA/LA Tea Party' at Park Hyatt Los Angeles Hotel on January 15, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson during The 30th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards at St. Regis Hotel in Century City, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson during 'A Streetcar Named Desire' on Broadway - Curtain Call and After Party at Roundabout Theater at Studio 54 in New York, NY, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: (C) Michael Neeson, son of Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson, leaving Lenox Hill Hospital after visiting his mother. (Photo by Ken Murray/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson during 'Chanel' Costume Institute Gala Opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Departures at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: Actress Natasha Richardson and her sons Micheal Neeson (L) and Daniel Neeson (R) attend the 'Billy Elliot The Musical' opening night on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on November 13, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
LITHGOW, NY - MARCH 22: Actor Liam Neeson (2R) with family (L-R) son Daniel Neeson, son Micheal Neeson, an unidentified person, and niece Daisy Bevan arrive for the funeral of actress Natasha Richardson at St. Peter's Lithgow Episcopal Church on March 22, 2009 in Lithgow, New York. Richardson died at Lenox Hill Hospital on March 18 in New York City after suffering a ski injury at the Mont Tremblant resort in Montreal. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Natasha Richardson & Liam Neeson attend "The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards" held At The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly HIlls.
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Designer Donna Karan, designer Kenneth Cole, actress Natasha Richardson and Gabby Karan attend the amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani on 42nd Street to kick off Fall 2009 Fashion Week on February 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
(FILES): This October 17, 2008 file photo shows actor Liam Neeson with his actress wife Natasha Richardson during the British premiere of his latest film, 'The Other Man', in London's Leicester Square, as part of the London Film Festival. Actress Natasha Richardson has died, a spokesman said March 18, 2009, two days after the daughter of British theater icon Vanessa Redgrave apparently suffered brain damage in what was initially dismissed as a minor ski accident. AFP PHOTO / Files / Max Nash (Photo credit should read MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES): This October 17, 2008 file photo shows actress Natasha Richardson, wife of actor Liam Neeson, during the British premiere of Neeson's latest film, 'The Other Man', in London's Leicester Square, as part of the London Film Festival. Actress Natasha Richardson has died, a spokesman said March 18, 2009, two days after the daughter of British theater icon Vanessa Redgrave apparently suffered brain damage in what was initially dismissed as a minor ski accident. AFP PHOTO / Files / Max Nash (Photo credit should read MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Liam Neeson and his actress wife Natasha Richardson arrive for the British Premiere of the latest film The Chronicles of Narnia-Prince Caspian, in London's Greenwich, on June 19, 2008. AFP PHOTO / Max Nash (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 17: Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson arrive at the BFI 52 London Film Festival: 'The Other Man' Premiere at the Odeon West End on October 17, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Actors Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson attend the Chanel Tribeca Film Festival Dinner held at Ago at the Greenwich Hotel during the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival on April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Will Ragozzino/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 31: Actress Natasha Richardson arrives at AmfAR's 10th Annual New York Gala at Cipriani's on January 31, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Actors Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson and Kim Cattrall attend The Cinema Society after party for 'Seraphim Falls' at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on January 23, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Actors Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson attend a special screening of 'Seraphim Falls' hosted by The Cinema Society at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on January 23, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 04: Actress Natasha Richardson attends the 'Dreamgirls' premiere presented by DreamWorks Pictures & Paramount Pictures at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 4, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 16: (L to R) Actors Natasha Richardson, Liev Schreiber and Phylicia Rashad attend the 2006 Tony Award nominations at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts May 16, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 04: Actors Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson attend the 'Dreamgirls' premiere presented by DreamWorks Pictures & Paramount Pictures at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 4, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 09: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actress Natasha Richardson attends Paramount Classics premiere of 'Asylum' after party at Michael's August 9, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Actors Liam Neeson, wife Natasha Richardson and Aidan Quinn attend the 'Asylum' screening at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
BERLIN - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Natasha Richardson arrives at the Premiere of 'Asylum' at the 55th annual Berlinale International Film Festival on February 11, 2005 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
FILES - Picture taken on February 11, 2005 sows British actress Natasha Richardson giving a press conference during the International Berlin Film Festival Berlinale where she presented her film 'Asylum'. Natasha Richardson has died, two days after the daughter of British theater icon Vanessa Redgrave apparently suffered brain damage in what was initially dismissed as a minor ski accident, a spokesman said in a statement on March 18, 2009. AFP PHOTO DDP/ JOCHEN LUEBKE GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read JOCHEN LUEBKE/AFP/Getty Images)
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BERLIN - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Natasha Richardson attends the 'Asylum' Press Conference during the 55th annual Berlinale International Film Festival on February 11, 2005 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 6: (NO U.S. SALES UNTIL NOVEMBER 12, 2003.) Actor Liam Neeson and wife Natasha Richardson attend the World Premiere of 'Love Actually' at the Ziegfeld Theatre November 06, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson arrive for the 56th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall, New York City. June 2, 2002. Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect
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